SINGAPORE, Sept 29 — Customers of Singapore Airlines (SIA) will soon be able to dine and explore one of its Airbus A380s on Oct 24 and 25 while the aircraft remains parked at Changi Airport, SIA said in a statement on Tuesday (Sept 29).
Its initial idea for a short tour flight, or a “flight to nowhere”, was jettisoned after the airlines conducted a market study and a review, taking into account factors such as environmental implications and financial viability.
“We currently have no plans to revive the idea,” a spokesman said in response to TODAY’s queries.
In recent weeks, the idea attracted flak from people who were concerned about the carbon impact created by these flights, while others defended such flights — which a few airlines are pursuing — as a way to help the ailing national carrier cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Goh Choon Phong, SIA chief executive officer, said: “There has been a lot of interest in our customer engagement initiatives over the last few weeks, and I would like to thank everyone for their great ideas and suggestions. We are very encouraged by and grateful for the enthusiasm and passion that we have seen.”
The latest Restaurant A380 @ Changi idea is part of a “suite of experiences” meant for SIA’s Singapore customers and fans over the next few weeks.
These include a tour of its training facilities and a chance to enjoy SIA’s in-flight meals at home.
Customers will be served lunch in a cabin of their choice on the double-decker superjumbo aircraft.
An SIA spokesman said the aircraft will be parked and linked to a gatehold room, with diners entering the A380 via the aerobridge. SIA will also be applying for airport passes on behalf of the diners since the activity will be in a restricted area.
Diners can choose from SIA’s signature international cuisine as well as from a special Peranakan menu designed by Singaporean chef Shermay Lee.
Customers will also be given a showcase of its cabin crew uniform over the years and customers who turn up in traditional heritage wear, such as a sarong kebaya, cheongsam, saree, batik shirt or a kilt, will receive a special gift.
Bookings for Restaurant A380 will begin on Oct 12 on SIA’s KrisShop website. Limited spots for a 15-minute tour of the A380’s interiors and private access areas are also available on a first come, first served basis.
The statement said all health and safety measures will be put in place including thorough cleaning of the aircraft. Diners will be seated in groups of no more than five people with safe distancing between them.
“We will be following restaurant rules for Restaurant A380 @ Changi so the number of diners allowed in (the aircraft) is dynamic at this point in time. We will be observing safe distancing between groups of diners, so that will be taken into account as well,” said its spokesman.
SIA @ Hhome
For October 5, customers can order a meal from a range of 10 menus to be delivered to their homes.
The menus were designed for its First Class and Business Class customers by four world-renowned chefs on SIA’s International Culinary Panel — Chef Georges Blanc of France, Chef Matt Moran of Australia, Chef Yoshihiro Murata of Japan and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor of India.
SIA will also provide a First Class or Business Class amenity kit based on a package of their choice and customers get to keep limited edition dining ware and amenities such as crystal glasses, tableware sets and sleeper suits.
A digital guide on how to heat and plate the dishes will be provided. Customers can “recreate the SIA onboard experience at home” by watching aircraft cabin videos and listening to a specially curated playlist.
“Those who are looking to bring their SIA experience to the next level also have the option to Book-the-Chef through our cabin crew concierge, to enjoy the services of a private chef who will reheat, plate and serve the meal for customers in their homes,” said SIA.
Inside Singapore Airlines
For two weekends during the November school holidays, in a rare move, SIA will also be opening up its training facilities to the public.
“Perfect for kids and families, this is a rare opportunity to find out from our pilots and cabin crew what it takes to fly and serve in the skies. The tour will feature our latest cabin products and a look at where training on our flight simulators is conducted,” said SIA.
Visitors can also pay for additional experiences — aviation enthusiasts can experience the training SIA pilots receive on its flight simulator, children can dress up as junior cabin crew for a day and keep their SIA uniforms, wine fans can learn about SIA’s wines from its air sommeliers, and customers can learn how to achieve the Singapore Girl look in a guided grooming workshop.
They can also dine at the SIA canteen which will be serving in-flight cuisines for a fee. If visitors use SIA’s contactless payment app KrisPay, they can also earn air miles for these meals or if they buy merchandise at the tour.
The tour dates are set for Nov 21, 22, 28 and 29, and bookings commence from Nov 1.
Something for Everyone
When asked if there are other initiatives in the pipeline, the spokesman said it will make an announcement at the appropriate time.
Goh said SIA came up with these activities to engage with its fans and customers at a time when Covid-19 has drastically reduced the number of flights operated by SIA Group.
“These experiences offer something for everyone — from frequent flyers who miss our world-class in-cabin products and service, to couples and families who want an exclusive dining experience, and parents who are after an enjoyable activity-filled day with their children during the school holidays,” said Goh. — TODAY